Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

Increase Efficiency by Turning Vendors Into Resource Partners

Around here, everyone knows that when we enter an agreement to purchase goods or services we look at it as a two-way street. We want to both give and get more from a project than just the transaction.

Last year we entered an agreement with WP2DC, a very capable technology firm in Los Angeles. They helped us launch a cloud-based data system for our new business leads. It’s been a huge asset for my team, allowing us to keep all our data in a centralized location. We now have one place to store everything and seamless Internet access to our information, even if we’re offsite. We’re up and running, but true to form, that’s not end of our relationship.

Over the past eight or nine months, the principals of WP2DC and I have regularly exchanged our thoughts on what we are seeing in the market. Our most recent conversations have been about the various tablet devices that are coming to the market, the iPad in particular. We discussed how these might specifically be integrated into a useful purpose for our company. I have learned that WP2DC is a great source for tech information and they look to us for applications. Through the leverage we are both stronger.

I think you’d be amazed at what building a relationship with vendors and subcontractors can do to improve your business model. In turn, you’ll ramp up their efficiency. Both companies win. A little communication is all it takes.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.